Gold is a precious metal most commonly used in jewellery (rings, necklaces, watches, etc.). Gold is mined in nine Canadian provinces and territories.

Key facts

  • Gold is Canada’s most valuable mined mineral, with a production value of $8.7 billion in 2017
  • Ontario and Quebec together accounted for more than 75% of mined gold production in Canada in 2017
  • In 2017, the value of Canadian gold exports was $18.6 billion

Uses

The most common use of gold is in jewellery (rings, necklaces, watches, etc.). Approximately 10% of the demand for gold is for use in technology applications, mostly as a component of microcircuitry in a range of electronic products.

Investors buy gold in the form of wafers, bars and coins, believed to offer a measure of protection from the risks of inflation and market volatility. Gold-bearing exchange-traded funds are another source of investment demand for gold.

Production

Canadian mines produced an estimated 176 tonnes of gold in 2017, which represents an 80% increase over the 2008 production. In 2017, mine production increased in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and Nunavut, which offset declines in Ontario and Yukon.

In 2017, Ontario and Quebec produced more than 75% of the gold mined in Canada. Other provinces, like British Columbia, and the territories contributed to the overall Canadian production of gold.

Canadian gold production, by region, 2017 (p)

Ranking Province/Territory Thousand troy ounces Kilograms Percentage of total
1 Ontario 2,449.3 76,182.7 43.2%
2 Quebec 1,844.3 57,365.8 32.6%
3 British Columbia 633.8 19,714.9 11.2%
4 Northwest Territories and Nunavut 398.1 12,381.8 7.0%
5 Prairies 215.4 6,700.0 3.8%
6 Yukon 103.5 3,220.6 1.8%
7 Atlantic provinces 21.7 674.4 0.4%
Total for Canada 5,666.1 176,240.3 100.0%

International context

The world gold mine production reached an estimated 3,246.5 tonnes in 2017.

Find out more about gold production on an international scale:

The top five gold-producing countries accounted for 43% of the world’s annual gold output in 2017.

World gold mine production, by country, 2017 (p)

Ranking Country Tonnes Percentage of total
1 China 426.1 13.1%
2 Australia 295.0 9.1%
3 Russia 270.7 8.3%
4 United States 230.0 7.1%
5 Canada 176.2 5.4%
6 Indonesia 154.3 4.8%
Other countries 1,694.6 52.2%
World total 3,246.5 100.0%

Trade

Exports

  • In 2017, the value of Canadian gold exports was $18.6 billion
  • Canada’s exports of gold in unwrought form increased to 334 tonnes in 2017, up from 315 tonnes in 2016
  • The value of these exports increased to $17.0 billion in 2017, up from $16.4 billion in 2016
  • The value of Canada’s exports of gold in metal ores and concentrates increased to $754.0 million in 2017, up from $472.0 million in 2016

Imports

  • The value of gold imports in Canada was $9.0 billion in 2017
  • Canada imported 234 tonnes of gold in unwrought form in 2017, valued at $7.1 billion. In 2016, Canada imported 410 tonnes of gold, with a value of $7.4 billion
Source: Natural Resources Canada
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